As we reported nearly two weeks ago, the eminent surgeon Lazar Greenfield recently lost his position as editor-in-chief of Surgery News over a Valentine’s Day editorial that some readers, particularly women, found offensive. Surgery News is an in-house publication of the American College of Surgeons (although it’s published by Elsevier), and Greenfield was scheduled to take the gavel in October as the new president of the college.
We have a bizarre tale to relate involving the journal Surgery News, which recently lost its editor-in-chief over a rather strange editorial he wrote in the February issue of the magazine.
The ill-fated — and, we’ll stipulate, ill-advised — commentary has led to a de facto retraction of the entire publication — meaning that although no retraction notice exists that we’re aware of, neither does the issue exist in the publication’s archives.
But first, some important background. Surgery News is a trade magazine with a complicated structure. The publication, which describes itself as “the official newspaper of the American College of Surgeons [ACS],” is published by Elsevier, which supplies medical news through its International Medical News Group division. The society provides its own news, as well as the lead editor, a surgeon, who until recently was Lazar Greenfield. Greenfield, of the University of Michigan, also happens to be the president-elect of the ACS, twin responsibilities that put him at the pinnacle of influence for his specialty.